Thursday, June 11, 2009

"Amazing Grace" (extended version)

John Newton’s Full Poem
(from which we get the hymn, "Amazing Grace")

In evil long I took delight,
unawed by shame or fear;
Till a new object met my sight,
and stopped my wild career:

I saw One hanging on a tree
in agonies and blood;
Who fixed His languid eyes on me
as near His cross I stood.

Sure, never till my latest breath
can I forget that look;
It seemed to charge me with His death,
though not a word He spoke.

My conscience felt and owned the guilt,
and plunged me in despair;
I saw my sins His blood had shed,
and helped to nail Him there.

Alas, I knew not what I did,
but all my tears were vain;
Where could my trembling soul be hid,
for I, the Lord, had slain!

A second look He gave that said,
"I freely all forgive!"
"This blood is for thy ransom paid,
I died that thou mayest live!"

Amazing grace,
how sweet the sound,
that saved a wretch like me,
I once was lost, but now am found,
was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
and grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
the hour I first believed!

Thro' many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come:
'Tis grace hath bro't me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
as long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess within the veil,
a life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
the sun forbear to shine;
But God Who called me here below
shall be forever mine.

-- John Newton


EH said...

Here is a thought concerning the second to last stanza..."Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess within the veil,
a life of joy and peace."

I believe that this is true and we will experience this to the full completeness some day in eternity.


I also believe that Paul lived out and Jesus taught the idea that a life of joy can be experienced here on earth right now. Not fully but certainly we as followers of Christ should be rooted in the joy that comes from our salvation. I have been asking myself lately these questions.
Do I really understand what joy is?

How is joy different from happiness?

Why are we always so concerned about whether someone is happy and yet we are less prone to feel burdened for those who are not living in joy in all things at all times. Habakkuk 3:17 -19

Douglas Phillips said...

Good questions, Erik. I think many of us misunderstand joy: what it is, what produces it in our hearts, and how it's actually a Christian duty (and privilege).

And in the meantime we covet a self-centered 'happiness.'